Get Your Own Dirt :: By Grant Phillips

God was sitting in heaven one day when a scientist said to Him, “God, we don’t need you anymore. Science has finally figured out a way to create life out of nothing – in other words, we can now do what you did in the beginning.”
“Oh, is that so? Explain…” replies God. “Well,” says the scientist, “we can take dirt and form it into the likeness of you and breathe life into it, thus creating man.”
“Well, that’s very interesting… show Me.”
So the scientist bends down to the earth and starts to mold the soil into the shape of a man. “No, no, no…” interrupts God, “Get your own dirt.”

Many of you have probably heard this light-hearted joke before, but I think it fits into what I would like to talk about. This world belongs to God; earth and all that is in it, on it and around it. God created it out of nothing, along with the solar system we are in, including all the other millions, billions, trillions plus of other solar systems. Our God created everything out of … N-O-T-H-I-N-G. Only God can do that.

It all comes down to one reality.

“For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe.” (Deuteronomy 10:17)

When the apostle Paul was in Athens, he noticed many statues of false gods, including one labeled “the unknown god,” (just in case they may have overlooked one). He then had this to say to the men of that city.

“… “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about. “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone. “God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:22-31)

Obviously, the man in question in the last verse is none other than Jesus. Jesus Christ, who was crucified, buried and rose again will soon return and judge the world He made. He came the first time, not to judge the world, but to save the world, but when He returns He will not return as Savior, but as the Judge.

The lost world mocks God today, thinking and acting upon their belief that they are in control of their own destiny. This world is drunk on the belief that it is wiser, and far too intelligent to believe that God actually exists. It mocks those of Athens who worshipped idols made by hands, but are we any different? No we are not. Our idols may not be made of stone, but they are idols no less.

This country, prides itself on the law and power, as did the Romans. It also prides itself on its abundant knowledge, as did the Greeks. Where are the Romans? Where are the Greeks? The one true God remains, “I AM,” but where are they?

This world belongs to God and is His to run in any way He sees fit. It can rebel, deny, mock, persecute and laugh off the existence of God, but this very God gave Himself that all who desire could be saved from their sins. All who come to Him will be saved and kept by His power. All who do not will be judged by Him.

I can’t imagine entering my neighbor’s house and attempting to tell them how to run their own home; for example, how to raise their children. They would probably tell me to mind my own business, and they should. We have been doing the exact same thing with God. We, as a society have been rebelling against His commands of how we should live, and refusing, as a majority, to accept His ways. The “My Way” song is reverberating from the lips of most in this country and across this earth. News Flash! When the dust settles after He returns, everyone will do it His way, and that is the only way it will be.

There is one thing a fallen world is never short of and that is “pride.” We forget though that this is the very thing that got us into the mess we’re in in the first place. How’s that, you say? Satan was filled with pride (see reference below). He tempted Eve to disobey God. Adam, her husband, disobeyed God, apparently to please Eve. (Genesis 3:6) Sin and death entered the world.

“Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor…” (Ezekiel 28:17)

“You said in your heart,
I will ascend to the heavens;
I will raise my throne above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, …
I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14:13-14)

The Scripture references above (Ezekiel 28:17 and Isaiah 14:13-14) are all in reference to Satan. I don’t know about you, but I can sense a strong kinship in these verses between the lost man and his father, the devil.

Jesus told the Pharisees in John 8:44 that they were of their father the devil. We do take on the characteristics of our fathers. Those who are children of God will grow in Christ and be like Him. Those who are of Satan (all who are not of Christ) will be like the devil; full of pride and rebellion.

We may think this world is ours and we can live any way we want. The truth is, Satan has caused many to believe a lie, because he is the father of lies. As of this instant, all have an opportunity to obey God and recognize Satan for what he is; a liar. This isn’t your world and it isn’t my world. God created it and it is His. He created us. He has chosen to save all those who come to Him through Jesus Christ, and he has chosen to judge all those who do not. The end result of that judgment is an eternity in hell.

Don’t allow Satan to cloud your eyes and your ears with his lies. Believe God. This is His world, not Satan’s and not yours and mine. This next verse is for us today, prior to the Tribulation that will soon come upon the whole earth.

“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” (John 6:37)

These next few verses are for those on the earth after the Church is gone, during the Tribulation.

“Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (Revelation 14:6-7)

“A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.” This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.” (Revelation 14:9-12)

Grant Phillips
Email: grantphillips@windstream.net

Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com

Rapture Ready: http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html

 

 

Roaring Lion :: By Grant Phillips

My previous article was called “Reboot.” In it I discussed the fact that we can’t change the bad things we have said and done, even if we could give our right arm and make it happen. To follow-up, I would like to look behind the reason we do “stupid stuff.”

Also, I am addressing this article to true Christians, but anyone who would like to become a Christian and join us is welcome. How?

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-5)

“On the contrary, what does it say? The message is near you, in your mouth and in your heart. This is the message of faith that we proclaim: If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on him will not be put to shame, since there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, because the same Lord of all richly blesses all who call on him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:8-13)

As a Christian, we should constantly remind ourselves that we are in a spiritual war. Satan is always seeking to destroy, not just us, but any influence we may have on others to hear the Gospel and know Christ. Please read Ephesians 6:10-20.

Also, there is another passage I have used often, as have others, but it drives home the point.

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)

Any Christian who has spent much time in studying the Bible is aware that Satan cannot be but in one place at a time. He is not God, who is omnipresent. However, he has an untold number of demonic angels, his army, that work for him. We cannot see them, but they are all around us, and they know us intimately. Let us understand that a Christian cannot be indwelt by a demon, but they certainly can be influenced by them.

So how does this “roaring lion” prowl around looking for someone to devour. First of all, allow me to differentiate between those of us who know Jesus as our Savior and those who do not. Does Satan, by proxy through his army, attack both the saved and unsaved, or just one or the other? He attacks both.

Unsaved (non-Christians):

Those without Jesus Christ can be indwelt by demons. In my personal opinion, I believe that demon possession is increasing significantly today as we draw closer to our Lord’s return.

Satan will attack these folks by indwelling them or influencing the decisions they make in life. Obviously, he does not want any unsaved person to be saved. Because of this, he will use every tactic at his disposal to keep them either from hearing the Gospel or to influence their decision towards the Gospel.

He will use drugs, alcohol, sex, greed, jealousy, ignorance, and ANYTHING else to drive them from the Truth. Remember, he is the father of lies.

“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)

Would you like to know why this world is in such a mess? Why is there so much hate? Why is there such widespread perversion of sex? Why so many murders and thefts? Why are so many relying on illegal drugs and alcohol? Why are there so many suicides? Why are families being ripped apart? Why are so many individuals mentally warped about their sexuality? Why are so many children suffering because of the environment they are forced to live in? These are just a few of the questions we might ask, but what is the answer?

Mankind is being flushed down the toilet because of a devil named Satan that hates men, women, boys, and girls almost as much as he hates God. His goal is to destroy their lives, keep them from coming to Christ and have them spend eternity in hell. He knows that hell is his future eternal home and he wants to take as many of us with him as possible. Maybe, somehow (he thinks) he might defeat Jesus after all.

Saved (Christians):

Since he cannot indwell a Christian, since we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, how does he attack us, again by proxy? Satan is a supernatural genius profiler. We’ve all heard of criminal profilers. Satan and his fallen angels, demons, cannot be matched in their ability to profile us. He knows our weak points and our strong points. He knows what buttons to push to confuse us and get us off course.

When Paul and Peter warn us of spiritual warfare, perhaps we should take note that this is real. It is serious.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

All Christians, because we still have the old sin nature, have weaknesses, and Satan will attack us as often as possible in our weak areas. I’ll list just a few to clarify.

Do you have a tongue you can’t control? Maybe you gossip, for example. Satan will use that weakness against you and others to kill your effectiveness for Christ.

Is laziness your weakness? If so, he’ll keep you from what the Lord is leading you to in your life.

Is it pride? Satan is very familiar with pride, since he is eaten up with it. Again, he will use it against you.

Do you have a problem with illicit sex? Satan has destroyed many lives by ignoring what God says about sex.

The point is, whatever your weakness is, and you do have one or more, Satan knows what it is and he will use it against you to defeat your Christian influence with others.

Let us also take note that we can’t defeat Satan, BUT he is no match for God. This is exactly why all Christians should be in the Word and in prayer constantly. I’m sure this is why Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” We should always be in prayer, because the closer we stand to Him, the less victory Satan can have against us.

Don’t think it will be easy. Jesus said in Matthew 16:24, “… If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” We can’t defeat Satan in our power, but we can defeat him in the power of our omnipotent God.

In conjunction with this, the more we try to live for Jesus, the harder Satan will fight against us. If we are one of those Christians who look and act so much like the world, it’s hard to tell us apart, Satan won’t spend much effort against us. Why? We’re already producing nothing, so why should he waste his time. He’ll spend his time more wisely on those who are trying to glorify their Savior by obeying Him.

Other areas, not associated with our weaknesses, Satan can and will attack us, for example, in our home and our job. He may bring dissension in our marriage or with our children. We may have problems at work that drag us down, or we may even lose our job. There could be problems which arise with our friends, neighbors or relatives that he may have instigated. This isn’t to say that everything that happens to us is caused by Satan or his influence. It is only to say, he “may” use these or he will at least take advantage of these opportunities to defeat us.

As Satan prowls the earth, we must remain alert to his schemes against us. Peter says to, “Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:9) How do we resist him?  Our best offense is to stay close to our Lord, by being in His Word constantly and pray without ceasing. Even though the spirit of evil is always against us, the Spirit of God is our Comforter and is always there for us.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

Grant Phillips

Email: grantphillips@windstream.net

Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com

Rapture Ready: http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html